BE HERE NOW

A Play in Thirteen Scenes

SICKO and STUPID III

SHE

I was raised to appreciate the finer distinctions between balderdash, bunkum, blasphemy, and smut. And a good story is filled with all of that.  ...In my humble opinion.?   Just like this Sicko Pyscho-Stupid story because it’s really all about Her… and Stupid hardly enters into it all.

 

Prologue

(In GRAY FACE and pale clothing, ENTERS slowly and thoughtfully, walking across the apron area oblivious to SHE typing upstage. The screens go neutral blue)

How do I think about-how do I tell a story about someone I once used to know? Someone who was never there?

(takes in the presence of an “audience)

THEY

OW! SHE told me ‘bout this. Damn. SHE’s right again! …Maybe I should start with MY name is…? My NAME is…? Guess I can’t say it! And, I know why: this isn’t MY story. It’s HERS-

 

SHE

Oh, no it’s NOT.

 

THEY

My name is… My name is… Burke. …Burke. I can say my last name. SHE likes my last name. Bur-

 

SHE

It goes with Billie!

 

AKim Tamiroff 

Yeah Yeah Yeah

HE

Forgive yourself?

 

SHE

I don’t know.

 

HE

You’re still too young, maybe. Too selfish.

 

SHE

Maybe.

 

HE

Don’t last, ya know. Not if you get kids. Youth never lasts. …Stupid? …THAT’s a fish of a different kitten… And selfish? …THAT’s the most unkosher spawn of stupid.

 

It's Like TAO

AT RISE

Giddy and playful, the couple, SHE and THEY rush in. The two make out, pushing and pulling at each other with much cooing and giggling. At times they are “maturely” passionate. Frequently, they regress to childlike, almost preschool behavior.

 ***

Eventually they settle into a standing embrace, swaying against each other with gentle kisses and lingering caresses They continue to hold each other in what becomes something of a slow dance.

THEY

Whatever you say, whatever’s within me, I am no dark embryo, and need a name.

A name I need, despite what you say. Names are important. To me.  Identities are important.  To me.

The INVISIBLE HANDS, some reverently dusting and polishing the ash boxes, are startled and, after some hasty adjustments, scurry off.

SHE

It’s getting so hard for me to tell who I am lately.

(confessionally, but completely

falling into  full blown, blushing,

Phoebe Waller-Bridge,

 complete with accent.)

That, I think, is not a good sign. I think it’s related to my fear of being talked about?

 

(hurriedly, in HER own voice)    

…Hah! That’s a real thing, you know. That’s not only me?

I don’t care what you say.

(Looks puzzled. Shrugs.)  

Do I contract myself? Very well, I suck of thee earth.

SICKO and STUPID I

 
 

Don't Call Me George!

THEY

(struggles with more bafflement and

outrage before pressing on)

Can. You. Just. Explain. To me. In saner English PLEASE! Why you can’t-WON’T call me by the name I chose?  ...I don’t-

SHE

(with rushed superiority)         

Yes, the name you CHOSE is NOT Billie either, though sure as fuck I’d have chose that if I was going to keep BURKE.

(fighting off jolting anxiety)   

…And I KNOW that’s irrelevant! It’s not George? It’s not Lennie? It’s not Billie. It’s not Glinda. It’s not…

(cocking her head, ostentatiously pleased

to hear the list going on inside her mind.

Then brightly…)

…But does a name really touch who you are? What you are? What I am?

 

SHE

Fascism or no Nazi, attacking the notion of rape is a way to perpetuate the worst harms of it while trying to put ALL the blame on the likes of YOU! Just for bending their stiff little notions of gender.

(slowly and thoughtfully)

…to protect… the freedom to rape… What Murica means to mal!

(back to the races)

A way to protect against the shame of being a rapist, restore the holy and the glory of it all over and over again. The why of the WHY they put all the shame on the victim. Attacking common sense and meaning is what power does when it loses recourse to traditional sick legitimacy. When silence or oblivion- horror based ignorance can no longer be maintained…

Why  Do I Think?
 

People are Dangerous

THEY

…They sort of talk like you talk, but different too… You know?  And it just came out. I had to say I knew you. ... And I was so nervous. I...  I. Just started talking about the TURTLES and all!  …Octopus and Honey Badger. I thought they’d blow me off. But some of them even knew about Pataphysics… and… right? …Anyway, it’s up to you.

 

SHE

(carefully) 

You really wanna try this, don’t you?

 

THEY

…I mean, I know I just can’t survive forever as an outcast. As a pair of outcasts. I mean… How long can this go on? Can you? …Ok? Let’s just maybe keep it at “maybe” for now.

 

SHE

Maybe for now.

 

THEY

People are dangerous.

(SHE turns to her work and HER screens light up. THEY sits on the bed.)

 

SHE

(the proud explainer).        

Anyway, Turtles inside Turtles inside Turtles in ever expanding dimensions is Chelonialism’s defining metaphor.

 

ELL

Dimensions! Do you mean universes?

 

THEY

Believe me, you don’t want to go down that rabbit hole. Ask her instead about the Sword of Jesus.

 

ELL

The Sword of Jesus?

 

DEUTERONOMY

Didn’t He say He came to bring a Sword?

GOD SAVE HERMANN

 

Sicko and Stupid II

SHE

Think! Of course, she was awkward because she was so

(air quotes)                  

“beautiful?”

(Stops )                         

Stop! Wait a minute. This IS the story. It’s not DIGRESSING to say stories take short cuts. The story calls what isolates her, “agonizing beauty”. But that’s just a NAME! A name for what isolates her as hideously as a brand burnt deep into her ugly face. I know I’m not saying the story in any traditional way. But this story’s been said so many times so many ways, I wouldn’t change anything important.

(pause)                         

I hope.

 

SHE's Not There

AT RISE:    

The couple, crouched in antagonistic conflict, slowly back away from each other and straighten up.

THEY’re dressed boyishly, if colorfully. SHE wears a tattered wedding dress (walked through far too many mud puddles). A computer keyboard hangs around her neck.

THEY

Word person…

 

SHE

The word you heard?  The word is.  The word is.  In the god and the sad, the gad and the bad, the word is.  The word is.

 

THEY

Sometimes I wanna hurt you.  

 ...Word girl.

 
Marble Surface

The Nazi  Bot

PRIESTLY

A POPULAR collaborative generation of a NEW faith?-

 

Deuteronomy

Drawing on legacy religious themes and symbols?

 

ELL

Oh, so audacious!

 

JAY

(the entire Sanhedrin robotically mime rending their garments)

So hubristically inane, insane, uncalled for, and deranged!

 

ELL

WHY do I all of a sudden wanna rip my clothes… off?

Above the Clouds

Sicko and Stupid III

SHE

So, Sicko’s awkward cuz her “whatever” isolates her. She can’t really interact with others. Not ‘cuz she’s an airhead or anything. She’s perceptive of other people in lots of ways, with a full inner life. Maybe too full. Maybe too inner. But in too many ways, cut off.

 
 

SHE 

Speaking of lip rip sure, did you know

Carol Ann sent me a poem after she

read my last little story bit…?           No?

          

It’s this one by Hokushi: